8th Meeting: Honorifics (19/04/18)

こんにちは みなさん!

Konnichiwa Mina-san! (Now you know what two of those words mean. I really hope so.)

So, today we did honorifics, the usual hiragana recap and ate matcha KitKats. Or, at least we tried to do honorifics, though I had to scramble through sensei, senpai and kouhai, because I spent too much time talking – hey, it’s a really interesting subject!

Anyway, because of this insufferable heat, the matcha (green tea) KitKats were slightly melted, but I don’t think that changed their normal taste of unusualness. I think the general reaction is initially ‘urgh, by Jove, what is this?’, but then you get used to them and they taste fine. They’re not unpleasant, but rather strange. I could make analogies between matcha KitKats and JapanSoc, but it’s far too hot to be doing anything of the sort.

The planned hiragana recap was interrupted by the fact that two members had no clue what hiragana was so of course I launched into an explanation of what hiragana were, how them came about and the introduction of writing into Japan. And for some reason, there were Chinese monks saying words that sounded like Spanish – because the only Chinese one of the monks knew was ‘Hello Kitty’. This is JapanSoc for goodness sake! That certain Chinese monk is henceforth awarded the quiche of the week award. At least the Japanese peasants could speak some Japanese… I feel this is why we ran out of time.

Finally, the actual honorifics were reached, and we did san and sama, and kun and chan, complete with pictures, the Karate Kid and orange-coloured clouds. (See the slides for the information, if you were too distracted by the carrot.) I threw in a puzzle as well, asking what 赤ちゃん (red-chan) meant. There were some worthy guesses of strawberry and tomato (I guess, they are cute and red), but the answer that eluded them was that 赤ちゃん means baby! Babies are red. (Baby can also be written 赤ん坊ぼう, or red-monk, because they are red, and bald like monks. This is why I love Japanese.) Next came sensei, and senpai and kouhai, which I had to do in a rather rushed manner, although hopefully you understood!

See you next week!

M7-san (I apologise for all the in-jokes.)

Slides: Honorifics

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